Thunder notebook: A simple solution

By John Rohde, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Modified: November 2, 2010 at 7:35 pm •  Published: November 2, 2010

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said there's nothing complex in his team correcting its defensive problems.

"It's about as simple as it gets. You have to stop the ball," Brooks said Tuesday before the team left for Los Angeles for tonight's 9:30 game against the Clippers.

All-Star small forward Kevin Durant agreed. "Just help," Durant said. "It's all about helping each other out, man, and giving a second effort."

The Thunder is without defensive standout Nick Collison, a power forward who is still on the mend from a lower left leg stress reaction, but Brooks didn't use that as an excuse.

"Nick is one of our better defensive players but, nah, that's not the reason," Brooks said. "We've just got to do a better job of manning up. You've got to guard your man. We've had too many breakdowns where we're not real focused stopping our man. That's unacceptable. The good thing about it is we're getting some steals out of it (second in the league at 11.3 per game), but we might be getting too courageous on our steal attempts."

Collison, second in the league last year in charges taken, remains out indefinitely.

ALL ABOUT US

The Thunder has played nothing but winless teams so far this season in Chicago (0-0), Detroit (0-1), Utah (0-2) and tonight in the Clippers (0-4).

Durant said he is more concerned about what the Thunder is doing rather than the opponent.

"We've got to worry about ourselves," Durant said. "That Utah game, our energy wasn't there at all. I know if we bring our energy, we can play with a lot of teams in this league. If we're not making shots, our energy is going to pick us up and give us that defensive push. So it's all about us. We can't worry about the other team and how many games they've won or lost. We've got to worry about how we want to approach them."

OFF THE MARK

The Thunder and Clippers are tied for last in the NBA in field-goal percentage at .399, while the Thunder ranks last in 3-point percentage at .208.

"As you're coaching throughout the game, you feel either good or bad with the offense. I felt good, but I wasn't sure until I watched the film (against Utah)," Brooks said. "We had a lot of open looks where we just missed shots. Guys were making the right plays, we were just missing shots.

"Every player, every team will go through sections of the season where you're not playing well or not shooting the ball well. We are like that right now. Only thing you can do is work your way through it. I tell our guys to keep looking for each other. We're not turning the ball over (first in the league at 12.7 turnovers), which is good. We just have to step up and shoot it with confidence. I believe in them and they believe in themselves. Now the ball just has to go in for us."



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